Starve your distractions, feed your focus.” – Unknown
The path to achieving little or nothing is feeding your distractions. Our generation seems to have mastered this vice; social media only acts as a magnifier. We want to know what’s trending and if there are no trends, we create them. From tweets to FaceBook shares and Instagram posts, we live for the buzz, the comments, the shares and the likes. That might be a good thing, until we take it too far like we did with Pastor Adeboye’s comments on marriage.
Whether I agree or disagree with the comments is irrelevant. What mattered more was our actions revealed our true nature; a bored generation thriving on distraction. Oh yes, we thrive on it! From Tiwa’s marriage breakup to #SaveMayowa ‘scam’ to the most recent, Pastor Adeboye’s comments, we seem to be waiting by our smartphones for the next ‘scandal’. This informs our obsession with any topic that has the potential of going viral. Let’s think it through, did we really need make such a fuss about those comments? Did we? If our intention was to convince others to get on the feminism train and change their mindset, I very much doubt that we succeeded. All our discussions, arguments and fights about the subject only served one purpose; populating the trending topics on Twitter. At least, in that regard, we achieved something.
More importantly, the way we handled it, the criticising, the condemning and the name calling only showed our lack of tolerance. A lack of tolerance for differing opinions and an inability to express dissent respectfully. If we preach tolerance, then we should in fact practise it, not minding the sour taste it leaves in our mouths. We should realise that sometimes, the wise way to treat differing opinions is to walk by especially since such opinions are not binding on you.
Social media is our space, our zone, our hood, our own thing. It’s also our safe haven. No wonder we fought tooth and nail when the ‘old school’ generation tried to compromise its sanctity under the guise of the social media bill. No, we do not want to be regulated, especially not by those who have disappointed and continue to disappoint us daily. So, we bask in our unrestrained power and freedom of speech. However, to justify our unhindered liberty, we must act responsibly and let decency and common sense be our watchwords. No more copying and pasting writing stories without verifying or descending to insults to show disagreement. We should learn to manage conflicts by treating dissenting opinions with maturity and mutual respect. Because with liberty, comes great responsibility.